Dueling Legislators

9 Jul

Yesterday during the Erie County Legislative session, there was a very big confrontation between Betty Jean Grant and Barbara Miller-Williams over the legislature’s implementation of sections of the county’s settlement with the USDOJ over Erie County jail conditions. Betty Jean Grant complained that the community-at-large – and she – had had no opportunity to be heard on these changes and how they might be implemented.

Part of the problem, she said, is that Christina Bove, the renegade Democratic chair of the Public Safety Committee, had repeatedly refused to call a committee meeting so that these items may be discussed.

Grant said that Miller-Williams, as chairwoman of the legislature, has the power to convene such a committee meeting, or at least persuade her “reform coalition” ally to do so. The verbal back and forth became quite heated, with Grant at one point daring Miller-Williams to have her forcibly removed from the chamber.

We got both legislators’ comments after session ended.

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4 Responses to “Dueling Legislators”

  1. Mike July 9, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    Miller – Williams sold out to “the Man” (Chris Collins).

    FIGMOS — anyone remember that from back in the day?
    “Finally I Got My Own Supermarket.”
    Miller–Williams: Finally got invited over to swim in Chris Collins’ pool and light snacks on the patio. Por Que?
    You’re getting played lady

  2. E. C. Legislator Betty Jean Grant July 9, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    I have tried to compromise by repeatedly asking Ms. Bove when is she going to hold the next Public Safety meeting. She told me, “I do not know”. The sad part is she told me this in fronf of Chairwoman Miller-Williams. So who is trying to fool whom, here? Christina Bove has not held a Publisc Safety Committee meeting since some time in May. During that time frame, all other commitees in the legislature have held at least two or more meetings. Why do I think Ms. Bove is not holding those meetings? I thinkl she is refusing to hold meetings because she does not want to have the Community Advisory Board resolution that was conceived by at least 21 community groups and recommended by the editorial board of the Buffalo News and several women and pastoral groups to ‘see the light of day. Ms. Bove is pushing her local law, which is supported by Chris Collins, Sherrif Tim Howard and Attorney Cheryl Green, even though she only has five legislators’ support and which will surely be vetoed by the County Executive. Once the county executive vetoes Bove’s Law, it will get those anti-community groups legislators off the hook for trying to pass something. The partial settlement of the Dept. of Justice lawsuit clearly shows there is something wrong in the way the Holding Center is being run. Just as the Holding Center should have let the DOJ in to inspect the jails if the county had nothing to hide; so should Legislator Bove hold those committee meeting if she also has nothing to hide or impede. The county executive and the county attorney should not determine how the Public Safety Committee is run. And,as for Chairwoman Miller-Williams stating that sh would consider appoining me to chair the Publis Safety Commitee; all he has to do is to appoint me! In my view, that would be the appropriate ‘compromise’ she talk so much about trying to achieve. However in her world, I think she belives compromise to be: ” I am the Chairwoman of the Legislature, so deal with it!” Fornunately for the county, Legislator Tom Loughran has graciously allowed the public, and those community groups who drafted the resolution, an opprtunity to be heard in his Community Enrichment Committee on Thursday, July 15th @ 12:30 p.m. in the Legislature Chamber. And kudos to Alan and Mark for showing up and allowing the public to see and hear what is going on regarding the Legislature’s Reform Coalition’s leadership and how they are denying the people their right to assemble and participate.

  3. Hapklein July 12, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    This is all the cost we bear for the strident partisan nature of the Erei County government.
    Its actually beyond partisanship. I recall Chris Collins immediate dismissal when the federal and state investigators made known their concerns of conditions in the Holding Center. the county Executive was derisive of what he termed “liberal,” views of how prisoners should be treated. Being against “liberal,” influences goes beyond dividing philosophies in Democratic and Republic elements. You can reject the views of nearly anyone who does not agree with you entirely.
    You would suppose in  a normal world the Republicans would be back pedaling to avert the PR mess that has been created. But they continue their brash path of refusing to be transparent and adjustable. It is Government by fiat.

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  1. The Erie County Legislature Redefines Dysfunction #ecleg | WNYmedia.net - July 23, 2010

    […] Dueling Legislators (wnymedia.net) […]

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